American guitarist Mark Tremonti first came to public attention as a founding member of rock band Creed, together with singer Scott Stapp, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips.
When Creed disbanded after a decade Tremonti went on to form a new heavy rock band, Alter Bridge. The initial line-up, which remains constant to this day, consisted of Tremonti and his former Creed band-mates Marshall and Phillips along with singer Myles Kennedy.
Creed reformed for a further album and touring in 2009, although their status in unclear today, and Kennedy began working with former Guns N’ Roses guitarist in 2010 – successfully juggling his role as singer for Alter Bridge and Slash at the same time.
During some down time from Alter Bridge in 2012, Tremonti began work on his first solo record, “All I Was”, under the band name Tremonti. The record was heavier than the work of either Alter Bridge or Creed, showing more heavy and thrash metal influences. Tremonti handled lead vocals as well as lead and rhythm guitars, with Garrett Whitlock providing drums and Eric Friedman supplying the bass, backing vocals and rhythm guitar.
By the time the band came to record album number two, “Cauterize” (and apparently a third album recorded at the same time, for release in 2016), Tremonti, Whitlock and Friedman had been joined by bassist Wolfgang Van Halen – leaving Whitlock to concentrate on rhythm guitar and backing vocals.
Whilst not quite in the league of Kennedy as a vocalist, Tremonti acquits himself very well in that department, as he did on the previous record. It’s on the guitar front that Tremonti really impresses though. Although not terribly flashy within the context of Creed, his guitar work for Alter Bridge, in conjunction with that of Kennedy, has always been impressive. Here, he is able to really fly without having to worry about fitting into the template of either band.
Lead single “Another Heart” gives an idea of what to expect here. There are fast and furious tracks and some that are more introspective. Van Halen’s bass work is solid, Whitlock’s contribution undoubtedly valuable, though less easy to assess as Tremonti himself also supplies rhythm work, and Friedman’s drumming is top-notch.
The track “Sympathy” probably comes closes to his day job with Alter Bridge and is a great number, but my personal favourites are “Flying Monkeys”, the catchy “Dark Trip”, the stunning opener “Radical Change” and “Tie The Noose”.
1. Radical Change / 2. Flying Monkeys / 3. Cauterize / 4. Arm Yourself / 5. Dark Trip / 6. Another Heart / 7. Fall Again / 8. Tie The Noose / 9. Sympathy / 10. Providence